Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Reserve is officially open in the Ambassador Hotel

The Reserve in the Ambassador Hotel is now open.

Posted By on Tue, Jul 24, 2012 at 6:20 AM

Lobster corn dogs are one of chef Geoffrey van Glabbeeks signature dishes at the new Reserve restaurant and bar.
  • Lobster corn dogs are one of chef Geoffrey van Glabbeek's signature dishes at the new Reserve restaurant and bar.

The Reserve chef Geoffrey Van Glabbeek
  • The Reserve chef Geoffrey van Glabbeek
The Reserve, the dining room in the Ambassador Hotel, had a "soft opening" over the weekend. The veteran server Giovanni Luongo was working the room: "No one knew the place was open, really, but I had notified some of my regular customers to come in. Everyone was raving about the food."

No, no, no...not the original Ambassador Hotel at 36th and Broadway (which hasn't had a restaurant in decades), but the sleek, beautifully designed new Ambassador Hotel at 1111 Grand. On Monday morning, the Reserve opened for breakfast at 6 a.m.

"We weren't packed," van Glabbeek says, "but it was a nice little crowd."

The Reserve serves as both cocktail lounge and full-service restaurant in the lobby of the new hotel.
  • The Reserve serves as both cocktail lounge and full-service restaurant in the lobby of the new hotel.
The top-selling breakfast dish of the first day was the $11 wild mushroom frittata with goat cheese and fresh herbs topped with breakfast potatoes. Chef van Glabbeek's breakfast menu also includes double-chocolate pancakes, freshly made beignets served with berry chutney, huevos rancheros, house-made granola, and a $9 egg croissant with gouda, bacon, lettuce and tomato — and french fries.

The lunch menu has the traditional hotel dining-room favorites — a club sandwich, a burger and a Caesar salad with a choice of grilled chicken, shrimp or salmon — but there's also a steak salad, a slow-braised short rib sandwich on an herb roll, a lentil and feta flatbread, and one expensive item: a $15 plate of fried fish and chips served with spicy poblano coleslaw.

The Reserve serves food continuously, from 6:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. (the kitchen stays open until 11 p.m. on weekends), and a Sunday brunch is planned for early autumn. The entrees on the dinner menu range from $13 for a vegetarian dish, a half-order of pappardelle pasta smothered in a seasonal vegetable ragu for $13 (or a larger order for $25), to the full order of braised short ribs dripping in thyme-cabernet sauce and creamy orzo for $28. Other entrees include a chile-honey glazed salmon ($16 for a half-order, $29 for a full order) and a grilled beef tenderloin offered in two sizes: 4 ounces and 7 ounces for $16 and $29, respectively.

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